Sunday, July 12, 2015

and then it rained

I've got some real talk for y'all that I need to get off my chest, so I'm just going to jump in without any preamble. 

The last month or so has been hard. Really hard. It's not my job (I love it). It's not my roommates (I love them). It's not my ward (it's awesome). It's no external force. It's just me. 

My struggles have all been completely internal, and oftentimes that's when struggles are most difficult to deal with. Because even though there is really nothing "wrong," so to speak, something isn't right. And that may make exactly zero sense to you, but it's reality for me. Depression, anxiety, fear, plummeting self-esteem, loneliness, unexplainable anger, body image issues, physical and mental exhaustion—you name it, I've been there in the last 30 days. And it was eating away at me. I felt so numb and lost and confused and hurt, and I had no idea why. I was losing my sense of self, I didn't know what I believed anymore, and, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I felt myself losing hope. Giving up and accepting a miserable existence seemed easier than taking my life back.

And then it rained.

My roommate and I went on a nighttime run in the pouring rain. And I felt alive like I haven't in a really, really long time. I took my hair out of my ponytail and let it fly around me, frizzy and soaked and wild. I stopped and gleefully splashed through every puddle we encountered. I couldn't stop smiling.

And while we ran, I found that how fast I was going or how far I went didn't matter. And it didn't matter that I should probably shed a few pounds. It didn't matter I'm getting paid minimum wage to work harder than I've ever worked in my life. It didn't matter that I'm not as smart or pretty or talented or athletic as other girls. It didn't matter that my life isn't perfect and neither am I.

All that mattered was the pavement (and puddles) beneath my feet and the rain pouring down on me. All that mattered was that I felt alive and whole.

Upon getting back to the apartment, we spontaneously jumped into the pool fully clothed. I then proceeded to float lazily on my back a la Danielle de Barbarac, do water ballet, prove to be the least graceful "mermaid" in existence (no surprise there), and continue to feel alive.

When we got too cold, we moved to the hot tub. And while I enjoyed the wonderfully peculiar experience of warm water engulfing my body and cold rain splashing on my face, I thought about a moment just before jumping into the pool. Erica had run into the apartment to put her phone away, and I found myself alone in the courtyard. I was suddenly overwhelmed by an indescribable feeling of love and joy and acceptance. It was that deeply rooted kind of joy that doesn't come from anything that the world has to offer and that can't be expressed in words by even the most eloquent of speakers. I didn't think that my heart had enough room to contain it, and I lifted my face up to the sky in hopes that it would help me hold this sudden rush of completion.

I remembered a weary prayer I'd uttered a few days before in which I'd told my Heavenly Father that I wasn't even sure if He was listening. I told Him that I didn't know if I had faith. I simply asked him for help. That was it. That's all I felt capable of communicating to the Divine.

I never thought that help would come in the form of chilly summertime rain.

But it did.

I feel so incredibly cheesy saying this, but the rain was very much a Hilary Duff-esque cleansing experience for me. It was as if the heavy feelings I've been carrying around just washed away. I now feel renewed, rejuvenated, and refreshed. I've been reminded of beautiful truths I'd forgotten about, and I feel hopeful about tomorrow and every day after that. My problems and demons haven't gone away—not even the more torrential of downpours could accomplish that—but I'm now so much more confident in my abilities to handle the trials and struggles in my life. And that's enough for me.

I left my window open a crack that night so that I could hear the gentle dripping of the rain. God may have given Noah the sign of a rainbow to show His love and support, but He gave me the rain. And rain will now forever be a reminder that I'm not alone, I'm should never give up, and I am loved.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, how I love this and love you. Thank you for sharing!